Driver killed by falling tree in Iredell County was husband, father

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Brian Cooper was killed after a tree fell onto his car in Iredell County. (Photo: Iredell Firewire)

A driver has died after a tree fell on his car in Iredell County as Michael's wind and rain whipped across North Carolina.

The accident happened in on Songbird Drive at Mocksville Highway. Authorities have reported strong winds and numerous roads closed by flash flooding.

Kent Greene, the county's director of emergency management and fire services, said in an email that the man died Thursday after his car was struck by a tree on a highway east of Statesville.

Greene confirmed the death was storm-related. He wasn't able to immediately release the man's age or identity.

According to Iredell Firewire, Brian Cooper, a frequent contributor to the Firewire page, was the person killed.

 "Brian always had intelligent, reasonable, commentary to our posts. The Iredell Firewire Administration sens our deepest condolences," Iredell Firewire said in a statement.

Cooper, 38, leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 15 and 7-months. Broad Street United Methodist Church in Statesville, of which Cooper was a member, issued a statement on their Facebook page.

LINK: Michael moving over Carolinas, leaving trail of damage

The sheriff's office has urged people to stay off the roads until the storm and its after-effects clear.

Strong winds and rain brought trees and power lines crashing down across the Charlotte area. Close to 220,000 power outages were being reported in North Carolina. The majority of the outages being in Forsyth, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union counties. 

LINK: Water rescues happen in North Carolina mountains

The now tropical storm continues to northeast.

The eye of Hurricane Michael came ashore around 1:35 p.m. Wednesday near the Mexico Beach, Fla. area. 

LINK: 932k lose power after Michael slams Southeast

Damage in Panama City near where Michael came ashore Wednesday afternoon was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay nearly everywhere. Roofs were peeled away, sent airborne, and homes were split open by fallen trees. 

Michael was responsible for at least two tornadoes in Georgia. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.